Berens Named U.S. Presidential Management Fellow Finalist

Samuel J. Berens

Samuel J. Berens, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Chemical Engineering, has been named a finalist in the highly competitive U.S. Presidential Management Fellows Program (PMF).

The Presidential Management Fellows Program is administered by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management and has existed for more than 30 years for the purpose of developing potential leaders in the U.S. government. This year, over 4,900 applications were received and 402 applicants were selected as finalists. The 2020 finalists’ pool represents approximately 61 different disciplines, 125 academic institutions, and 13% are veterans.

“Samuel is a hardworking and a very talented student,” said his faculty advisor, Sergey Vasenkov, Ph.D.

Beren’s research achievements have been recognized with awards and honors including two publications as first author, being the lead Ph.D. student on a project selected as “Science Highlight” in 2019 by the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, and receiving the Best Poster Award at the 48th Southeast Magnetic Resonance Conference.

“I’ve had the opportunity in Dr. Sergey Vasenkov’s lab to work on many different projects related to separations. By working on several collaborative projects with outside researchers, I’ve become knowledgeable about a breadth of materials and processes. I think that this combination of scientific knowledge alongside collaboration and organization experience has given me the tools to succeed as a PMF,” says Berens

As a finalist, Berens, is eligible for a fast-track appointment to government occupations and has access to a job portal for the full 2020 year where he can apply to positions that interest him. The program is reserved for individuals across the nation with advanced degrees who have gone through a rigorous selection process to become finalists.

“I am excited to be selected, especially since I think engineers and scientists are underrepresented in the program. I am most enthusiastic by roles which are relevant to my background such as those within the Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Energy, National Science Foundation, or Department of Defense,” says Berens.